Aside from tacos, burger salads are my second fav food right now. This is ground beef marinated in bbq teriyaki sauce then mixed with sautéed onions, green onion, and mushroom. Formed into patties then fried and laid across a bed of red leaf lettuce, red bell peppers, and strawberries. Topped with honey mustard dressing and avocado. Delicious! #HealthforHappiness #H4HLifestyles
Views from my yoga mat this morning.
Today I started a new meditation practice. An article I read suggested 15mins, morning and evening, focusing on 3 specific chakras - so that’s what I did.
I hiked to the top of the property, just past the fence line, and set up my yoga mat in a nice flat place facing a large tree hillside. I took a seat at the back of my mat, so i could stretch out if needed, but resumed a cross legged, straight spine position, with my palms open. A posture that allows the energy within your body to flow the most freely.
I started by tucking my chin to my chest, letting my head fall heavy, bowing to the earth. Then I would look straight up, soaking in the air and beauty from the sun and sky. I maneuvered my head around a bit more to loosen my neck up, let my shoulders get comfortable, and spine relax.
The navel chakra is what I started with. Located two inches below your navel, eminating a yellow color, this is my center of power. Bringing about willpower and energy, I imagined this chakra glowing a deep, vibrant yellow that shot through my entire center and illuminated out into my aura. I tried to conduce a warming energy feeling that I then let flow throughout my entire body.
I envisioned the yellow of this chakra lighting up the spine, coiling around each vertabrae, until it reached the heart chakra, which beams the most beautiful and pure color of green. The heart chakra represents love, harmony, and balance. I repeated these words as I let out a big sigh. My chest opened up and the color behind my eyelids turned to the radiant green color. Surrounded by all the green trees, feeling blanaced on my mat and with nature, I let my love for all life shine through and the overwhelming sense of harmony brought a smile to my face and almost tears to my eyes. I imagine my heart chakra glowing over my entire chest - not just in the center where it does originate.
The yellow from my navel/center of power chakra, mixed with the lovely green from my heart, beam up to the tip of my spine and shine to the middle of my forehead - the location of the brow or third eye chakra - I try to see a deep blue. I know this chakra holds essence of psychic seeing and wisdom. When I think of this, instantly my entire body begins to buzz. Its magnetic and surprising. I dont want to lose the feeling so I take deep breaths and continue to feel this energy buzz with each exhale. I tell myself “I know”. With this I mean that I know myself, I am in tune with my entire being. I know I trust the universe and I know I want it to trust me in return. “I know” if I take the time to stop and listen I will make the right decisions and the universe is always allowing things to unfold exactly as they should. I repeat “I know” as a release in a sort of meditative chant and suddenly I feel as though I know I do not need to worry, about anything, let my mind relax. This realization instantly makes me feel so relieved.
I open my eyes to the bright blue sky being kissed by the tips of the green trees at the top of the hill in front of me. I bow to the ground in a type of child’s pose, resting my forehead on my mat. I thank the earth for listening and helping me generate that energy, then I give it to eternity and I acknowledge that I too belong with eternity. I will be forever a part of this universe, one day with the moon and the stars.
I sit back on my mat and absorb the nature and sounds around me. I hear a rustle in the tree behind me and turn to see if I can spot the bird, but I cannot. Then it flies from behind me to a tree just in front of me and to my left. I see its a Blue Jay. Is it pure coincidence that the last third eye chakra I had just been focusing on, the deep blue I was trying to imagine, is the exact blue of this bird? I havent seen one other Blue Jay since we’ve arrived in Etna. Coincidence or not, that bird felt symbolic.
To finish my morning practice I stood at the edge of my mat and did some tree poses, with touching palms and open warms. Tree pose in front of trees felt silly at first, then I felt like they were watching me and I hoped they knew how much I appreciate them.
Bringing my palms together, I bowed my head, closed my eyes, and whispered “Namaste”, because it felt right. With that, I truly felt ready to start my day. So I rolled up my yoga mat, walked down the hill side, and did just that.
Oregon Country Fair was one of the best experiences of my life so far. If I could live in a small community similar to that of this weekend, where every one has their own little tent or hut with a communal kitchen and folks take turns preparing a meal for every one each night, while others do dishes and others tend fire…I would be in heaven and could live happily the rest of my life.
The camping experience itself is enough to make me want to go to Fair. We camped at the site known as Quiet Camp, where it is anything but quiet. I was lucky enough to be grouped into a type of family reunion called the Tapanga Tribe. The first people to arrive roped off a giant section in the back of Quiet Camp, close to the forest and under some trees, so we could keep our Tapanga Tribe community together. In our community alone, I would guess there to be around 50 people. Upon arriving and setting up camp I stretched out a bit and got to know some of the folks around Tapanga. It was shortly after this where I got a feel for ‘quiet camp’. At any given time someone will yell, “Quiet Camp!” or “Can you please be quiet?!” and a slough of people would yell back their own random comments, “Shut up!”, “I’m trying to sleep!”, “SHHHHH!”. It was a huge joke and tons of fun, (especially because I like yelling) that lasted all through the night.
Despite our own little community, every one all throughout Fair greets each other with a smile and greeting of Happy Fair. The energy in the air is so exilerating and exciting. To Fair from camp it is an approximate ten minute walk - down a road, through a foresty path, across a field and back into the forest for Fair. There is an array of different craft booths, items for sale and food. All booths are crafted out of wood, twigs, trees etc. from the forest itself and stay up in the forest all year round. The food ranges from everything local in Oregon, to vegan, gluten free, sweet, savory, you name it, it’s there. A few of my partiular favorites were the Hemp House Grill, where I got a buffalo burger salad, or the Coconut Bliss cart with vegan (coconut) ice cream bars. Other booths range from awesome clothing, masks, jewlery, beautiful hand crafted instruments and furniture to massage, tarot or other intiuitive readings, hate free zone booths, and even henna. As pictured, you can see I got my hand painted.
There is so much going on at one time in Fair. The bands Beats Antique and March Fourth Marching Band played on Friday, which I made sure to see. Saturday and Sunday I feel like I mostly wandered around all day long looking at things, resting when tired, and eating. The best part of this is coming across all the different stages (one awsome one being the Drum Tower) and catching bits and pieces of music everywhere, but also, just walking down the path and suddenly theres a parade coming your way! Complete with dancing dragons, people on stilts, drummers, the whole bit. I played my own little day dream all weekend where I did imagine camp being a compound that I lived in and Fair was going down to the market on the weekend. Oh, how I could live in a world like that. Where everyone accepts each othe for who they are, no questions asked. Society standards and norms to a minimum.
Fair was only open from 11-7, so we got out in time with plenty of day light left. Most people made their way back to camp, ate dinner, power napped, then camp festivities would start up - including our own single stage and food booths, which lasted well into the night. We stayed Thursday through Monday and it went on every night. The music, was amazing!
I saw so many close friends that I hadnt seen in awhile at Fair that I did not go with, but I also spent the weekend camping with some very close friends of mine. I also made some really amazing friends too! All the love, so overwhelming., in the best way possible. It really made me feel some peace in my heart and was a really great cap for a send off out of the Northwest into new parts of the world. The last day of Fair (Sunday) Patches and I started asking around for who was going to be heading to Northern California, or Nor Cal as I like to call it. I wore a sign on my back-back, as did Patches, and we ended the day with one promising lead from a girl in our camp. This morning rolled around and she was most likely still sleeping, so we decided to say our goodbyes early and get on the road to find a real, promising ride - as we needed to make it to Yreka before 5pm to catch the last local bus to Etna. Straight hitch hiking is not the way I really want to travel, but out of Fair I felt completely safe. We were not walking down the street for more than 10 mins when the sweetest girl, who had been working a booth all weekend, picked us up in her tiny pick-up truck and took us all the way to Yreka. $20 gas each, straight ride, good company (though I slept most of the way), heat wave in Cali, high 90s in Etna, supposed to be up to 108 tomorrow.
Patches and I will be looking for ride shares down to Modesto/San Fran area this coming week, as his father is no longer able to pick us up. Most likely swimming and maybe checking out a local open mic tomrorow night. We are trying to get out of the mountain life within the next week.
On to the next one…
Today my time in Portland comes to an end, as I await my ride with an old friend and roommate, plus her boyfriend, to take me to the next adventure: Oregon Country Fair.
This past week and a half has been filled with many amazing moments, which have really made me feel like I am on vacation. Today, as I head south for Fair, I will be meeting up with my travel buddy, Patches, and I will not be coming back north for some time. The reality of this trip is once again setting in, in a new way.
Upon arriving in Portland I got some tacos immediately. Then a good friend picked me up and took us to our other friends house in Tigard. I spent the night there, woke up and did a photo shoot with another friend from the Tigard Haus, and an old photographer friend I know from when I did some freelance/just-for-fun model work when I lived in Portland, 2 years ago.
After the photoshoot we got burgers and met a small group out at Sauvie’s Island where we enjoyed the clothing optional Collins Beach. It was very relaxing, but not so fun discovering the dozen mosquito bites in days to follow.
I met up with some friends in SE that night and ended up going to the awesome restaurant Jam, off of Hawthorne Blvd for brunch, then up toMt. Tabor to skate. Apparently on Wednesdays they close the mountain to cars and many folks take advantage of this and cycle / long board the mountain all day. I roller-skated down it once, then stayed on flatter ground and played around. Hills are definitely intimidating, and for some reason I just dont find them super duper fun. I need to work up the courage to go faster. One day when I have better skates, as mine are in desperate need of a tune up I will not give them right now.
Later that evening I met up with my (basically) little sister and we went roller skating at the adult open skate at Oaks Park. After that she took me back to my friends in SE where we hung out and ordered some amazing delivery sandwiches from Devils Dill sandwich shop.
My fourth of July was pretty epic! I havent had a good fourth in quite some time. It was basically a slip-n-slide bbq day, with all my good friends. Two of my friends were coincidally celebrating their 1 year anniversary, so there was a DJ and angel card reading (similar to tarot cards) set-up in the back yard too.
The following Saturday was insanely lazy, but all managed to muster up some fun again by the end of the night with an outrageous game of truth or dare Jenga and Cards Against Humanity.
On Sunday four of us went hiking out of the gorge, East of Portland near a place called Eagle Creek, Punch Bowl was specifically the trail. 3 miles out. I surprised myself by briskly walking / kinda jogging the whole way. Greeted by a beautiful water fall at the destination, it was breath taking. I have been particularly trying to take in the dense greenery surrounding me, as I know it will slowly be disappearing in the travels south.
After hiking we went out to a delicious middle Eastern cuisine joint called Nicholas Restaurant, then I was dropped off again in SE to meet up with different friends, some I went to high school (and even elementary school with) that I hadnt seen in a while.
The following day I enjoyed lazing around, napping, got Waffle Window waffles off Hawthorne (cant miss that when youre in town!), then ended up seeing a fashion design type studio in the afternoon, going out to sushi, getting a delicious ice-cream float from Salt and Straw, hitting the ever so cheap happy hour at Bartini and singing kaoroke (Hotel California) at Boiler Room. A friend and I walked back to his house in SE that night, enjoying gorgeous views of the Portland skyline along the way.
The last few days have been particularly mellow, spending them at my second parents’ house in Lake Oswego. I went bouldering for the first time in almost a year, - really ripped my hands up, but thats okay - and have gotten in a few awesome workouts! Today, in particular I am very very sore.
At Oregon Country Fair, Patches and I will be looking for folks traveling to Cali that we can hitch a lift with and if not we will settle for taking the bus from Eugene to Yreka and bussing it locally to Etna. I am so excited for this weekend I cant wait to let loose and be a naked hippy child in the woods! Will write again in a few weeks, when the next leg is over and we head south from Etna!
Best workout so far:
100 Squats (20# vest)
Side Plank w/ thread needle - 30 each side (20# vest or 10# weight for 1m ea side)
Tabata walking lunges with knee raises (20# vest or holding 2 10# weights)
Throw in a few push-ups in there
Finish with a two mile run (weigh vest optional - I couldnt do that)